Doctor believes neck adjustment leading to Georgia woman’s paralysis likely due to underlying issue

ATLANTA — For months, Channel 2 Action News has followed Caitlin Jensen’s road to recovery. Her mother Darlene says she went to see a chiropractor for a neck adjustment in June, but days later she was paralyzed.

She was transferred to the Shepherd Center in Buckhead in an effort to teach her how to walk and talk again.

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“I could tell that there was something bad,” said Darlene Jensen.

Jensen says her Caitlin was 20 minutes into the procedure when she received the news.

“I didn’t really think at that point when I got the phone call, that it was anything serious,” Jensen said. “She’s healthy. She’s 28 years old.”

As the hours went by, Caitlin’s health continued to decline. She then went into cardiac arrest.


“She had four artery dissections in her neck which caused the strokes and cardiac arrest,” Jensen said. “To be honest, they didn’t think she was going to make it. They were very clear about that.”

Less than three months after the incident, Caitlin is progressing at the Shepherd Center. On Wednesday, therapists were working through Zero Gravity, a method to teach her how to walk again.

Caitlin also has to learn how to swallow and talk.

“I do want people to understand how serious of a risk it is,” Jensen said.

“We don’t know whether or not the patient arrived in the process of this event, or if this event developed as a result of the care,” said Dr. Gerard Clum, Chiropractor and Director at Life University.

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Clum says the possibility of having four artery dissections from a neck adjustment is inconceivable. He says many patients often don’t know if they have an underlying issues before booking an appointment.

“It says to me that there is an underlying pathology that the patient and the chiropractor didn’t know she had,” he said. “She likely would have been in that same spot over time.”

Clum says the chance of this type of injury happening is 1 in 100,000 and there is never a way to tell if an adjustment can trigger a brain injury like Caitlin.


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